If you’ve ever thought to yourself…
…I wish I could write better.
…I’m not sure I should be blogging, I’m not a writer.
…My writing isn’t great… but I don’t know where to start to improve it.
Or anything along those lines, this post is for you.
I’m about to share with you 3 simple actions to take and 2 mindset shifts that will immediately and dramatically improve your writing–and all you’ve got to do is read this post (in 15 minutes or less).
Action Step #1: Go Short
At just under 5’0″ tall myself, I’m not suggesting you lose the high heels. ;)
Write shorter. Shorter words. Shorter sentences. Shorter paragraphs.
Notice most of my “paragraphs” are only one or two sentences?
That’s intentional. It’s easier for you to read.
It’s not easy to write short for those of us who tend to be a little… verbose, as a friend called me earlier today. But it makes a huge difference in how easy it is for our readers to understand us.
Don’t use big words. Be descriptive but keep it to the point.
Action Step #2: Write Drunk, Edit Sober?
Hemingway is often quoted as saying, “Write drunk, edit sober.”
While I don’t actually recommend that approach…
What I do recommend is that you relax and turn off that 6th grade English teacher’s voice in your head while you write.
Don’t edit while you write.
Don’t be afraid to write the way you talk, and just be yourself.
Your personality and the way you express yourself are what makes you unique!
“Whatever makes you weird, is probably your greatest asset.” Joss Whedon
Don’t edit YOU out of your writing.
Let the words spill out onto the page, and then go back and edit.
Action Step #3: Create a Writing Routine
When do you write?
What tools do you use?
Create a space and time for yourself to write.
Space to think, background music, timers, templates… what helps you get into the place you need to be to enjoy writing?
Notice these things. And then be intentional about your writing routine.
I like to write early in the morning, before I get distracted or stressed out by events during the day… or late in the evening after things are quiet and peaceful.
I use a timer to keep myself focused and I often play classical music (okay, my iTunes has been known to occasionally somehow end up on Pharrell… or my daughter’s playlist and One Direction but you’ll never get me to admit that again…)
Mindset Shift #1: Focus on Your Reader
It’s not about you. Not really.
It’s about your reader.
Stop worrying about getting a word wrong, or accidentally hitting publish with a typo.
Share your story.
Share your knowledge.
Someone is waiting for you to share.
And remember: everyone starts somewhere.
The most talented, acclaimed writers on the planet didn’t start out writing that way. They earned it. They worked for it. They just started writing and didn’t stop.
Mindset Shift #2: It’s All About the Outcome
It’s about the outcome.
What’s the point of your post?
What’s the one thing you want your reader to walk away with?
If your post achieves that, then you’ve done what you set out to do…
This post? The objective is to help you see that whatever your current level of writing “skill” – simple actions can make a big difference (action steps 1-3), everyone starts somewhere, it’s okay to just get writing… and that you’ve got bigger things to do in life than worry about whether your writing is good enough by someone else’s standards.
You’re here with a purpose. And if that purpose didn’t include a little bit of writing you wouldn’t be reading this post.
So focus on your purpose and who you want to help through your writing.
It’s not about perfection… so get writing and hit publish already! (But keep it short.) ;)